Limitations of technical and vocational education

The trouble with TVET: some limitations of the technical and vocational education and training literature from low- and middle-income countries

Speaker: Janice Tripney, EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education
Date: June 20, 5.30-7.00 pm
Venue: Lower Meeting Room, LIDC, 36 Gordon Square, London

With increasing emphasis being given to work-based solutions for economic and political stability in the developing world, comes a renewed focus on technical and vocational education and training (TVET). It is perceived as a means of expanding opportunities for marginalised youth and alleviating poverty.

But what do we really know about TVET? Do the different TVET models differ in their ability to help young people overcome the numerous challenges faced in transitioning to working life? How important is it that TVET programmes are tied to an entire industry sector? Does it make a difference whether TVET programmes are demand-driven, or involve public-private partnerships? These questions are important to policymakers and donors wishing to limit their investments in TVET to the most effective programmes.

This seminar will present the findings from a systematic review that examines the evidence base on TVET in low- and middle-income countries. The study finds that TVET has significant, though small, effects on the employment and earnings of young people. However, the study does not recommend any particular model of TVET. This presentation will discuss some of the reasons why, and suggest ways in which researchers can tackle policy-relevant questions left unanswered by the review.

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